Wednesday, October 20, 2021

2021.10.20 Hopewell @Home ▫ Exodus 8:1–15

Read Exodus 8:1–15

Questions from the Scripture text: Who spoke (Exodus 8:1)? To whom? To whom did He send him? How was he to introduce his statement there? What was he to command Pharaoh to do? So that what could happen? What did He threaten if Pharaoh refused (Exodus 8:2)? What would bring forth these frogs (Exodus 8:3)? How many? Where would they go? Into whose house, specifically? Into whose bedroom, specifically? Onto whose bed specifically? Into who else’s houses? On whom? Into what two things? Even onto whom, specifically, would these frogs come up (Exodus 8:4)? How does Exodus 8:5 introduce again? Looking at the rest of the verse, what has happened between Exodus 8:4 and Exodus 8:5? Now to whom is Moses to speak? What is Aaron to do? With what? Over what three things? What would this cause? What does Aaron do in Exodus 8:6? Over what? What come up? What do they do to the land? Whom else does Yahweh permit to do this (Exodus 8:7)? How do they think they are doing it? But who still calls for whom in Exodus 8:8? What does he ask them to do? What does he promise that he will do? What does Moses ask Pharaoh to accept in Exodus 8:9? For what three groups does Moses say he would intercede? What would he ask Yahweh to do? Where would frogs remain? What time does Pharaoh choose (Exodus 8:10)? What does Moses say that this timing will make Pharaoh know? From which four places does he say the frogs will depart (Exodus 8:11)? Where will they remain? Where do Moses and Aaron go in Exodus 8:12? What does Moses do to Whom, concerning whom? According to what does Yahweh do (!!, Exodus 8:13)? What do the frogs do, from where? What do the people do with the bodies (Exodus 8:14)? With what result? What does Pharaoh see in Exodus 8:15? What does he therefore do? What doesn’t he do? What had predicted/determined this?

Whom will the people serve? Exodus 8:1 restates the struggle of this contest. Pharaoh wants the Hebrews to keep serving Him, but Yahweh specifically tells Moses to say that “Yahweh” demands that they “serve Me” (verse 1). Part of the plague is that Yahweh will make his servants worthless by covering them with frogs (end of Exodus 8:4). There are many things/ones competing for the service of God’s people. He will devastate all competition.

Who makes fruitfulness? Again, the Nile is specifically attacked (Exodus 8:3), as well as Pharaoh himself. His house, his bedroom, and his bed (verse 3). Even upon him himself (Exodus 8:4)! The frog was the image of Hekhet, a purported fertility goddess in Egypt. But she was also supposedly to multiply crocodiles to keep the frogs in check. Apparently, she fails spectacularly to contain them. 

Also, Pharaoh’s magicians are able to make more frogs (Exodus 8:7). But the last thing that Pharaoh needs is more frogs! So, the magicians’ failure results in Pharaoh asking the only ones who can help him with his “Yahweh problem” (Exodus 8:8, cf. Exodus 5:2). Still, he uses the words “sacrifice to Yahweh” instead of “serve.” Pharaoh is unwilling to concede. Sinners want to be served. They do not want to acknowledge dependence upon the Lord, and they do not want to tolerate others’ serving the Lord.

Who is in control? Moses offers Pharaoh, “glorify yourself over me when to intercede for you” (Exodus 8:9). Something in Pharaoh’s response shows that he is still trying to maintain some semblance of control, and Moses (perhaps facetiously, perhaps to teach him a lesson) reinforces that by letting him set a time for the frogs to be gone. Pharaoh’s selection of “tomorrow” in Exodus 8:10 is basically impossible, but Moses still says, “let it be according to your word.” The point is to use words that sound like Pharaoh being in control to  show how complete Yahweh’s control actually is. Whatever Pharaoh asks, Yahweh can do. It will be tomorrow “that you may know that there is no one like Yahweh.” The Lord is in complete control of all of history, and each of us must bow the knee.

How hard is Pharaoh’s heart? Pharaoh still refuses to heed them (Exodus 8:15). What’s worse is that he looks at the situation in Exodus 8:14 and actually thinks that “there was relief” (Exodus 8:15). Heaps upon heaps of dead frogs throughout the land? Is that relief? The whole land stank? Is that relief? Here’s a man who is irrationally committed to his wickedness. Just like everyone, apart from Christ, is irrationally committed to his wickedness. 

What other entities are competing for the service of Christ’s people? Who will win that contest? Who/what else is thought to make people fruitful in our culture? How are you tempted to buy into that idea? What do you need, in order to give in to God’s call to repentance?

Sample prayer:  O Lord, You alone are God. Grant unto us to serve You alone! Grant unto us to trust in You alone for fruitfulness! Grant unto us tenderheartedness when Your providence is designed to get our attention and call us to repentance. Forgive us for being so much like Pharaoh, and spare us from needing such miserable circumstances to reveal it from our hearts; for, we ask it through Christ, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP2 “Why Do Gentile Nations Rage” or TPH2B “Why Do Heathen Nations Rage”

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